Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Pie Cake

This is a stunner of a cake that you can mix in a single bowl. You can bake it in a pie pan and cut in slices like a pie to serve, or bake in an 8x8 pan and cut it into squares. If you cut it in pie slices, you'll probably want to add a little whipped cream or ice cream.

Tools: Mixing bowl, mixing spoon, oven


1 cup sugar
1/4 vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (pistachios might work)
2 cups diced apple (I leave the peel on)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Pour into greased pie plate or 8x8 pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. (Test by stabbing with a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean. If you're me, start checking at 30 minutes just in case.)
4. Remove from oven when golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Notes: If you're feeling showy, you can replace the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with 2 tsp of Chinese five spice seasoning. You can also use only cinnamon and it will still be delicious.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cupcakes you can make for your kid to take to school while simultaneously editing your project’s five-year workplan

(in other words, these are easy and very quick.)

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 TBSP Vinegar
1/2 cup Oil
1 cup Water
22 squares of chocolate or 22 Hershey’s kisses
Optional sprinkles


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
2. Line cupcake pan if using liners; otherwise grease and flour it.
3. In a big bowl combine dry ingredients. Mix them up with a wooden spoon so they’re all evenly distributed.
4. In a medium bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, combine wet ingredients.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
6. Fill the cupcake liners. If you fill them just under half full, you can make 22 cupcakes, which should cover an entire preschool class. If you fill them more, it will make about 18 cupcakes.
7. Bake the cupcakes. It will take 12-14 minutes, but check them at 10 just to be safe. Go spellcheck your workplan while you wait. Set the oven timer so you don’t get all distracted by logframes.
8. Once you take the cupcakes out of the oven, immediately put a chocolate square on top of each.
9. Go to the first cupcake you put the chocolate on, and use a toothpick to spread the now melted chocolate all over the top of the cupcake. Add the sprinkles if you’re using them. Alternately, stick a Hershey’s kiss on top and leave it alone.


1. The advantage to using chocolate instead of icing is you don’t have to wait for the cupcakes to cool and then frost them. You can just spread the chocolate, pack the cupcakes into a shoebox and load them into the car still warm. They’ll be cool enough to eat by the time they get to the kids, and the chocolate looks very pretty on top. With colored jimmies, it's downright fancy looking. Well, kid fancy.

2. This is not grownup food. This is kid food. The cupcakes are very sweet and their only flavor is cinnamon and vanilla. It’s not complex. Kids love them, though. If I was making these for grownups, I'd add cloves and ginger in addition to the cinnamon, double the amount of salt, and cut the sugar to 3/4 cup. I might also switch one of the teaspoons of vanilla for almond or orange extract.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dim Sum Sauce

Seriously, never tell anyone I told you this, but you can make a surprisngly nice dipping sauce for dim sum - or any other asian dumplingy thing - by combinging equal parts soy sauce and coca-cola and adding powdered ginger to taste.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homesick Chinese Takeout

This recipe is for everyone, who, like me, gets inexplicably homesick for the kind of bad Chinese food you get at Chinese takeout. This tastes exactly like the "Bourbon Chicken" you get at food courts all across the US.

It's reprinted here directly from food.com - I can't take any credit for the recipe. I just copy and pasted. I have attached a few of my own notes in parentheses.

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (aka one kilo)
1 -2 tablespoon olive oil (any vegetable oil is fine and makes no flavor difference)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar (I suspect white sugar would be fine but I haven't tried it)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time:35 mins

• Heat oil in a large skillet.
• Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
• Remove chicken.
• Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
• Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. (I bring to a boil and then add the chicken)
• Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

Note: I like to add frozen veggies during the simmer period. Broccoli or green beans are both nice. I also recommend adding a mix of 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water to the sauce toward the end of the simmer to thicken it.

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/bourbon-chicken-45809#ixzz1CR0fKLfK

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Recipe: Vaguely Turkish Soup

I love this soup. It's light and refreshing served lukewarm or room temperature in the summer, and it's savory and warming in the winter. It's so easy to make than I am faintly embarrassed to serve it and so good that we had it as part of our Christmas dinner this year.


2 cups chicken broth (vegetable if you prefer, just pick broth you like the taste of)
1 cup full fat plain yogurt (I make my own, but it doesn't matter much)
2/3 cup of cooked rice
2 tablespoons finely diced fresh mint (or two teaspoons dried)


1. Bring broth to a boil.
2. Turn heat down to a low simmer and stir in the yogurt and rice.
3. Add half the mint, and bring back to simmer.
4. Taste. If you like it, you're done. If it needs more mint, add the remaining mint to taste.
5. That's it!


1. Too much mint will ruin the soup, so add it slowly and taste.
2. As the name implies, this soup is based on one of my favorite Turkish soups. I bought it in packets for a year before I thought to duplicate it at home. An actual Turkish recipe blogger has a recipe here.